On Monday 4th April my sister phoned at 7.15 am to tell me my nephew had died, suddenly but peacefully. David had been a wonderfully inspiring nephew. He was everything a boy could want to be – loving family, good studies, good at sport (played football for Cardiff schools, was Glamorgan junior tennis champion) – but at the age of sixteen he was badly injured when struck by a car and never walked again.
For weeks we watched, even for him to open his eyes, and we feared he might die in his coma. But slowly he began an extraordinary recovery, full mental powers and much physical healing, and although he tried and tried to walk he had to finally settle for a wheelchair. He went to the University of Glamorgan and gained a good degree. His wonderful personality won him friends throughout his life. He lived, by choice, an independent life near my sister and brother-in-law and had a team of excellent carers.
His death was sudden and the shock great. That was at 7.15 am. At 11.00 am came news that Fr Peter Reynolds had died peacefully in Nazareth House Nursing Home, also in Cardiff. Fr Peter and I had begun our religious life together and were always friends.
Last Thursday I was up at 3.30 am, on the road just after 5.30 am, in Cardiff at ten o’clock and with our Rosminian priests at Fr Peter’s Requiem mass at 11.00 am. I spoke with his family and many parishioners and then went to my own family for David’s service at 2.30 pm. A great number of family and friends, a service full of love and admiration and much family talk afterwards.
Friday morning, up 5.30 am, on the road by 7.30 am, home to St Joseph’s (all my life I “go home to Cardiff” and “come home to Leicester”, or wherever I am based) by 11.30 ready for the rounds at the Leicester General hospital in the afternoon.
Please pray for us. I was away just over 24 hours, but it seems more like a week.
God bless you
Related Link: Fr John’s Parish Newsletters